WhatSA Endurance & Historic Race Report
WhereEast London Grand Prix Circuit
WhenSaturday 3 August 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

White, Jarvis dominate BigFoot 700

Saturday’s East London BigFoot 700 round of the Mopar South African Endurance Championship was all about one team at the Grand Prix Circuit, as Craig Jarvis and Stuart White stormed to a dominant lights to flag victory aboard Jarvis Maui Motorhomes Ginetta-Corvette.

Pole man, Bloemfontein French Formula 4 frontrunner White led from the lights and underlined his dominance with a record 1 minute 15.911 lap around the iconic beachside racetrack that once hosted the South African Formula 1 Grand Prix, before the Maui pair cleared off to a decisive 6-lap victory. Paul Hill and Michael Stephen’s Kalex Aston Martin Vantage GT3 spent most of the race in second as they sped to an essentially problem free run to GT honours.

It was more complicated for championship leader Nick Adcock and his Danish teammate Michael Jensen, who had the AidCall247 RBR Ligier up to second at a point, but their 2-litre Honda mill started to run hot and the duo spent the last third of the race cruising so as to avoid it overheating. They still held on for third and a class win, to maintain Nick’s grip on the overall title lead.

Former Daytona 24-Hour winner Tony Martin and Mike Mcloughlin came to within a lap of catching the ailing Ligier following a strong performance en route to GT5 honours in their Durban-built factory Backdraft-Lexus Roadster, 21 laps off the winners and two laps clear of another giant killing effort by Cape Town youngsters Dayne Angel and Jarryd Evans’ tin-top winning Autohaus Angel Honda Civic Type R.
They enjoyed a race long scrap with baby sportscar winner Dean Wolson and Gerald Wright's Sports 2000 Opel, which had a reliable run to an impressive sixth ahead of Bradley Scorer and Darren Winterboer's Baron's BMW M3, which had run as high as fourth but dropped back mid distance. Byron and John Oliver's Mega Pile Nash was next home after dropping back in the final laps, while Trevor Graham and Brian Martin (Backdraft) fought home after mid-race dramas, ahead of the last finishers, Uli Sanne, Terence Lander and John McLachlan's Alfa Romeo GT. 

The BigFoot 700 proved a race of attrition that saw half the starters retire with Howard Blake and Andrew Horne's Nash being the most heartbreaking story, stopping to retire from fifth a few laps from the finish to join Romano Sartori and Franco di Matteo’s Ligier, Charl and Harry Arangies (McLaren), Riaan Botma and Sarel van der Merwe’s Ligier, Eric Salomon and Dave Sinclair (Elf), Kishoor Pitamber and Kris Budnik's Ferrari F360 and Sun Moodley and Andrew Culbert (Porsche) in retirement.

The winner of the previous two races, James Forbes and Fritz Kleynhans’ Ligier stopped after catching fire early on, Gavin Cronje and Simon Murray's Lamborghini crashed out in qualifying and championship contenders Theo van Vuuren and Keegan Ward’s Alfa Romeo Giulia, did not make the start. 

The weekend also played host to a North Versus South Historic Racing Showdown highlighted by a 1-hour Historic and ISP Endurance Race that saw Richard Schuhardt storm to an upcountry Porsche 911 RSR 1-2-3-4 ahead of Richard de Roos, Richard Pott and Stefan Puschavez after Jenkins’ Chevron took an early shower from second. De Roos had fought back from a slow start, but there was no stopping Schurhart who led most of the way to a dominant two lap victory.

Schuhardt also stormed to double Historic and IPC Sports & GT wins, initially leading Peter Jenkins’ Chevron and Pott's Porsche before all three were passed by by Cape veteran Francis Carruthers' Aquila-Corvette. Alas, the Aqila ground to a halt to leave Schurhard to charge home first from Jenkins, Pott, de Roos (Porsche), Sun Moodley’s Porsche 911 GT3 and Andre van der Merwe (Porsche RSR). Schuhardt then beat Colin Ellison (Chevron), Witt, de Roos, Sean Hurly (Lotus) and Stefan Puschavez (Porsche) in race 2.

Two busy North versus South Universal Healthcare Historic Saloon derbies saw Capri Perana man Darron Gudmanz beat Damian Staffen’s similar car to both race wins after fighting all the way, ahead of Mike Forsyth (Cobra) each time. Another local, Alec Gudmanz (Capri) beat visitor Daniel Lotter (Escort) and Christopher Radloff’s Toyota to both Class B wins, while Matthew Gudmanz’ Mazda kept it in the family to beat Quintin (Escort) and Graham Lessing to Class C, but Quintin Lessing beat Donovan Collins and Graham Lessing in Race 2.

Shane Fantham (Ford) had to fight off upcountry visitor Hubi Von Moltke (Merc 280) in both Class D races while Jozi lad Sean Hepburn (Datsun) did the Class F double ahead of local lad Graeme Musto (Mercedes); Quintin Bates (Mini) took Class E and Jozi visitors Jan Jacobs' Alfa Romeo shared the Class G wins with Harm Beens Sr. (Escort).

Charlies Superspar Pursuit racing sees the slowest car starting first and the quickest last in a handicap charge to the flag and the intriguing visiting series attracted several local wildcards to the fray. Border entry Quintin Bates’s Mini pipped visitors, Fine class winner Rob Clark’s Citroen and Trophy driver Kola de Klerk (Nissan 300ZX) to the first win, while de Klerk beat Werner Hartzenberg (Porsche 928S) and Fines driver Henk de Klerk (Honda Civic) to a race 2 Gauteng race 2 1-2-3.

Racing returns to the East London Grand Prix Circuit for a full national championship Extreme Festival raceday featuring GTC, Falken Polo Cup and Investchem Formula 1600, as well as Superbikes and Supersport motorcycles Saturday 31 August.


Issued on behalf of East London Grand Prix Circuit

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